Farmers to Discuss Way Forward at Workshop April 23

A one-day workshop for stakeholders within the farming sector in western Jamaica is to be held at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay on Monday, April 23, to discuss the way forward for the sector.
According to President of the St. James Association of Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Glendon Harris, the removal of preferential treatment in the European Union (EU) for farm products from the Caribbean region has brought about the need for these workshops across the island. He said the EU has granted a sum of money to assist displaced farmers and as such, proper planning has to be put in place towards the utilization of those funds.
Mr. Harris was speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Sandals Hotel chain, in recognition of farmers and suppliers of agricultural produce to its hotels in western Jamaica, at the Sandals Royal Caribbean Hotel on April 17.
He explained that the aim of the workshop “is to strategize to see how best the funds will be spent.”The President said that the participants at the workshop would include representatives from the EU, the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and other stakeholders.
Following his presentation, Mr. Harris told JIS News that in the parish of St. James, there were 23 JAS branches with over 3,500 registered farmers.
“I think that the workshop is something that will prove beneficial, because it is looking at how to actually get value out of the funds that will be injected into the farming system. And who knows best than the people who are actually in the system,” he said. “The reality is that you get this one-time fund and you have to ensure that at the end of it all, the people who it is intended for is better off, and benefits from the programme,” Mr. Harris added.

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